Vendaval Simracing was founded in January 2016 – with the goal to form a highly competetive simracing team while engaging every member towards the teams’ organisation. And although we approach our races in a professional manner and operate on the highest level of competition the fun and passion for racing is certainly not missing out.
Round 3 of the Finnish Simracing Championship kicked off on Sunday, May 13 at Monza. With long straightaways followed by slow chicanes with a mix of some high speed corners, Monza is always a difficult track to race head to head to with other drivers, considering it is quite hard for a driver to break out of drafting range from the car behind.
Prior to the race, our three Finns prepared for qualifying, which was different from the previous two rounds since there were no heat races before the main event. In other words, this important qualifying session determined the drivers’ grid spot for the main event. Santeri Kekkonen managed to put his Ferrari 488 GTE on the first row, trailing CoRe Simracing’s Kimmo Suominen who took the pole. Matti Kaidesoja was able to round out the second row starting in the 4th position, and Juha-Peka Lammi’s efforts fell just short of a top 20 starting spot, leaving him in 21st.
At the drop of the green flag, heading into the dangerous turn 1 of Monza, Lammi got caught in a chain reaction crash, giving his car some damage from the get-go. However, Kekkonen and Kaidesoja made it through the first lap cleanly. Kekkonen and Suominen traded the lead several times throughout the race, with Kaidesoja, Joni Takanen, Eero Tuominen, and others following behind. On lap 11 of 26, Kekkonen and Suominen were able to create a gap between them and the pack behind, allowing for a duel between the two.
After battling it out for the remaining 15 laps of the race, Kekkonen trailed Suominen by about half a second on the last lap. Getting a good exit out of Ascari, Kekkonen was able to pull himself along the outside of Suominen heading into Parabolica, the ultimate corner on the circuit. Kekkonen broke late, and was able to hang on around the outside, leading to a drag race to finish. Although, Suominen was able to grab the nail-biting victory by a margin of .012 seconds over Santeri Kekkonen. Kaidesoja was able to hold off the attempts of Takenen and Tuominen to hold on to the final podium position. Luck was not on JP Lammi’s side today after a car reversed onto the track in the middle of Ascari, giving JP’s car a large amount of aerodynamic damage, knocking him back to a finishing spot of 25th.
Round 4 of the championship will be held at Phillip Island on May 27. Santeri, Matti, and JP are looking to rack up some more points before the finale later in the year.
On April 14th, our three Finnish drivers, Matti Kaidesoja, Juha-Pekka Lammi, and Santeri Kekkonen competed in Round 1 of 2018 Finnish Simracing Championship, a series that attracts the top simracers from Finland and teams such as: ineX, Coanda, CoRe Simracing, and Black Star Racing. This year, the series’ car of choice is the Ferrari 488 GTE, which in Round 1, was raced around the technical Interlagos Circuit in Brazil.
Overall, a great opening weekend for our drivers, and we’re excited to head to Road America for round 2 of the championship on April 29th.
Beginning with Round 2, the name of the series has changed to the VRS GT iRacing World Championship. Virtual Racing School has stepped in as the new title sponsor, and we are excited and grateful for their interest and presence in the series!
Round 2 of the World Championship took place at the historic Sebring Raceway in central Florida. Coming off a somewhat disappointing set of results at Bathurst, considering the race pace we had, Vendaval was on the hunt for a strong points day at Sebring.
Our lineup for Round 2 was as follows:
Vendaval Yellow #13 (Juan E Lopez & Hayden Berns)
Vendaval White #9 (Santeri Kekkonen & Matti Kaidesoja)
Vendaval Blue #42 (Robin Esterson & Tatsuro Hashimoto)
On March 24 at 13:45 GMT, qualifying started for the 50 car grid. Once again, much like Bathurst, it paid off to qualify all of our cars in the top 12, allowing us to avoid much of the chaos that took place behind. Kekkonen qualified the VS White Audi GT3 in the 10th position while Lopez and Esterson followed behind in 11th and 12th, respectively. All three of the Vendaval drivers were within one tenth of a second of each other, and knew that they would have to work together to try to not lose too much time.
The green flag flew at 14 GMT, and the first few laps were pretty quiet for the Vendaval trio, apart from Esterson and Lopez swapping places. The first stint of the race went without incident for any of our cars. At the pitstop, Esterson in the Blue machine overtook Kekkonen after saving fuel for the whole first stint, which allowed him to have a shorter pitstop. All three Vendaval cars elected to not take tires at the pits due to the low track temperature. Esterson was able to make his way up to the 6th position by the end of his second stint, and Lopez and Kekkonen were also inside the top 10, not far behind. All three drivers hopped out of the cars at the second round of pitstops, allowing for Hashimoto, Kaidesoja, and Berns to get into to the Blue, White, and Yellow cars.
Unfortunately for the Yellow car, there was a confusion with the pitspeed limiter, which gave them a penalty, and costing a possible top 10 finish. However, the White and Blue cars carried on, finishing 8th (White) and 10th (Blue). The Yellow car finished one lap down in 32nd position. Congrats to Pure Racing Team for the win, and to FA Racing G2 and Coanda Simsport for the podium results.
Solid points day for two of the cars, and the whole team is working hard to have a successful Round 3 which will take place in Italy on April 21st at the world famous Monza circuit.